Second Sunday of Christmas
The sermon will be a post on our Facebook page. Please click on link to view sermon.
Reflecting the Grace of God
In sharp contrast to the image of Jacob, who wrestles with an angel and prevails, in today’s first reading the Lord redeems Jacob from hands too strong for him. Jacob does not always prevail. We too are reminded this day that it is not our own strength but God’s power that blesses, strengthens, fills, gives, and grants peace. God has the power to bring together and to scatter. God creates family not because we are God’s blood relatives but through adoption. In baptism we are claimed, redeemed, and forgiven. We receive wisdom and are lavished with grace. We are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit. We receive an inheritance. Through God’s powerful gift, we are gathered up, become children of God, and receive grace upon grace.
Receiving this gift of grace we are called to live as children of the light. In this holy calling we have John the Baptist as our guide. You can tell the story of Jesus leaving out all sorts of important details. In John’s gospel the shepherds, angels, and manger are all absent. But the gospel writers agree, you cannot tell the story of Jesus without John the Baptist. You simply must have the one who comes solely to point others to Jesus. This is our calling as well. We who are forgiven and redeemed, we who are claimed and called, are the ones who point to Jesus. We do this with our lives; we do this with our words. We point to Jesus when we feed the hungry, when we invite those we know and love to know the gift of grace we see in Jesus. We point to Jesus when we allow the holy light of the season to shine through all we do and all are.
Gospel: John 1:[1-9] 10-18
John begins his gospel with this prologue: a hymn to the Word through whom all things were created. This Word became flesh and brought grace and truth to the world.
[1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.]
10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ ”) 16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.